When Bravo announced that it was bringing its show Million Dollar Listing to San Francisco, one of the most-lobbed criticisms was how unimpressive a million-dollar listing would be in this city. After all, with a median home price of a least a hundred thousand or so dollars above that, would the show be reduced to featuring bland condos with no amenities and homes that once housed a "mummified" body in the Lake District? (Okay, the mummy house would be interesting.) Not to worry. Million Dollar Listing San Francisco, which premiered last night, upped its game. The cheapest listing featured on the first episode was asking $2.995 million, and it was the whole way out in Alamo, which is in Contra Costa County, near Walnut Creek.
The show features three San Francisco brokers: Justin Fichelson, a single socialite with a "very wealthy social network"; Andrew Greenwell, a snarky Florida native who just started his own brokerage and already has 60 people working for him; and Roh Habibi, a young Orthodox Muslim and new partner of Joel Goodrich, one of the city's real estate kings. Of course the show gets into the personalities of the three characters and some silly drama between them, but we were way more interested in the real estate itself.
The most familiar and most expensive home on the show was 285 San Anselmo Avenue in St. Francis Wood. The huge home, which has a suburban feel and a nail-polish-lacquer-red kitchen, first listed for $6.85 million back in January 2014 in real life, but there's no mention of that on the show. Instead, we see Roh negotiating the list price down from $7 million to $6.5 million in a formulaic scene that seems to happen every time an agent goes to get a listing on the show.
Roh wants to market the home as a "party house" to buyers who would normally be looking in the Mission. He throws a party for potential clients that ends with him break-dancing in the middle of the living room, but by the end of the episode has no offers. "I really see myself in the Mission," emails one buyer.
The house that Justin is selling in this episode is a bit harder to place. It's a generically remodeled Noe Valley Craftsman that is, of course, just perfect for a tech buyer. It turns out that the place is 21 Fountain Street, a modern four-bedroom at the very top of Noe Valley right below Market Street. The house seems like it was renovated sometime before its last sale in 2010, when it traded hands for $2.78 million. The sellers are now willing to list it for $3.5 million, but they inform Justin that they won't actually think of accepting that price for it. The house itself is exactly what you would expect to find in a Noe remodel: an open plan, oak floors, and a glass-lined balcony. Justin has no problem getting buyers through, including a woman who wants to cut down a neighbor's tree to improve the views and entrepreneur Zak Holdsworth, who tells Justin that he just sold his app. Justin ultimately engineers a bidding war between Holdsworth and another unnamed bidder, and sells the place to the anonymous party for $3.8 million.
Finally, there's Andrew and a "Hollywood Hills"-style house out at 500 Oakshire Place in Alamo that gives Andrew plenty of opportunities to talk about how sexy it all is. The house was built by an architect husband and interior designer wife with their son, who is a developer. Building houses to sell is their business. However, the wife seems to have gotten a bit too attached to this one. Her sour-faced fights with Andrew over how much to ask for the house culminate in her decision to just hang onto it herself. She finds Andrew's asking price of $2.995 million to be too low given that the family put $2 million into construction. That decision occurs after Andrew funds a Hollywood-style party complete with red carpets and rented Ferraris to lure his San Francisco-based clients out to Alamo.
The series premiere wraps up at a party for a concierge service that Andrew is involved with. The three agents meet for the first time on the show and Andrew informs Justin and Roh that he has purchased the domain names justinfichelson.com and rohhabibi.com. The previews for the rest of the season showed plenty more spats between the three stars, but we just can't wait to see more of the properties.
· Bravo's Million Dollar Listing SF Version Will Premiere This July [Curbed SF]
· Creepy Lake District 'Mummy House' Returns for $928K [Curbed SF]
· Gigantic St. Francis Wood Stately Abode Lists for $6.85M [Curbed SF]
· 21 Fountain Street [Redfin]
· Million Dollar Listing San Francisco [Official Site]